A Fire Kindled


The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a FIRE to be kindled. –Plutarch

As an instructional coach, my natural instinct is to fill brains, fill brains to the brim with strategies, data, ideas, or advice.

But, really, what I want to do is kindle a fire. I want to sow the seeds of excitement and anticipation. I want to spark imaginations and expectations.

Today, a teacher sent me an email of dates that she would like to host a student-centered lab as she uses stations in her social studies classroom. Later, we happened to meet in the hallway, and she excitedly told me about the primary sources she was introducing through rotating stations to help students understand facets of WWII. Her activities using comparing and contrasting, forming opinions on controversial questions, and deep thinking were well-thought out. The primary sources she would be using included print and photographs.

As teachers observe her lesson, I know that the excitement will spread (along with the strategies and ideas).

A spark was ignited with a coaching cycle experimenting with primary sources, an invitation for a visit from the principal, and positive feedback. With time and a little patience, the spark grew…and a fire was kindled.



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